Slow Cooker Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew)

Cook time: 8 hours          Prep time: 1 hour          Serves: 10

Ghormeh Sabzi is a classic Persian dish - and it's very nutritious! It is basically a base of herbs and beef stew with some grape seed oil that is simmered for hours to meld all the flavors together and soften the meat. I tried adapting this recipe for a slow cooker to make it easier for moms and people on the go. Prep everything the night before and you can turn on your slow cooker before you leave for work the next day. Your house will smell like the hillsides of Iran by the time you get home. Yum!

Tip #1: Persian supermarkets sell chopped and frozen ghormeh sabzi mixes nowadays. Make sure to by the non-fried mixes so you can control the type and amount of salt and oil going into your recipe. The recipe below is made with fresh herbs.

Tip #2: You can also make this completely vegan by replacing the beef for extra firm tofu. Saute the onions on medium until they are soft, then brown the tofu for about 10 minutes. 

Thank you to MyPersianKitchen.com for the inspiration for this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fenugreek (1 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch scallions (1/2 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (1 cup minced)
  • 1 bunch parsley (1 cup minced)
  • ¾ bunch tareh - texture of a leek, packaged like chives (3/4 cup minced)
  • 1.5 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 small dried limes, poked with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 cups warm water, divided into 3 and 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided 
  • 4 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided 

Directions:

1.    In a large saucepan, sauté the sliced onion with 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well. Add the cubed beef and stir. Let it cook until all the water evaporates, about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
2.    In the same saucepan, sauté the chopped herbs with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. 
3.    Put 2 cups of warm water in the saucepan on medium heat. Scrape the herbs off the sides and pour the herb water into the crock pot. Add the remaining 3 cups of water to the crock pot. Add the dried limes.
4.    Cook on medium for 6-8 hours. Add the kidney beans and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice and mix. Serve over rice.

 

 

Eggy Muffins

Muffin tins are a very versatile kitchen gadget. They can be used to make actual muffins, help you store and prepare ingredients ahead of time or even act as a craft station (seriously, google it!)

Below you'll find my favorite use for muffin tins: eggy muffins. Eggs are a great protein source for the whole family. Because these muffins are each in their own little cubby, children and parents can choose whatever ingredients they want to place in their own tin. This gives children some empowerment in the kitchen and let's parents know their kids will be getting a balanced meal. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Wild Mushroom Eggy Muffins...

Ingredients:

  • 12 free range eggs
  • 4 cups wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, separated
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grape seed oil
  • 1 12-cup muffin tin, non-stick preferable 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large saute pan, cook the chopped mushrooms in the grape seed oil until the excess water evaporates away. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, so that the mushrooms have plenty of room to brown nicely. Set aside to cool and sprinkle with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining salt, eggs and dried thyme and pepper. Whisk together.
  4. Take your muffin tin and pour the egg mixture evenly into each cup. Make sure not to fill each cup more than 2/3 of the way. Next, add some mushrooms to each cup.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the middle sets and does not jiggle.
  6. Sprinkle with some microgreens or cheese and enjoy!

 

Mason Jar Layers

Glass mason jars are a great eco-friendly way to pack a nutritious meal or snack. Use them for salad, parfaits, scrambles, smoothies...just about anything that will fit!

Some tips when making your next mason jar creation...

  • Salad
    1. Place the hearty ingredients on the bottom with your dressing - this would be your beans, quinoa/grains, proteins. That way they can marinate in the dressing without becoming soggy.
    2. Place your non-starchy vegetables (most things but potatoes, corn, peas, etc)
    3. Finally, add your lettuce leaves (I love arugula). Place the cap on and refrigerate until meal time.
    4. Shake your heart out to mix the ingredients together, then enjoy!
  • Yogurts/Parfaits
  1. Layer the jar with the driest and loosest ingredients on the bottom - this would be your slivered almonds, granola, etc
  2. Add your 2% plain Greek yogurt, or low-fat plain yogurt next
  3. Add fresh berries for some natural sweetness then dig in!

Black Bean Brownies

Make these delicious (and nutritious) fiber-filled brownies as an alternative to the bake shop! The black beans replace most of the butter in this recipe and make the brownies very moist and fudgy. 

                              Ingredients:

•1 can of low-sodium black beans
•3 eggs
•3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•¼ cup cocoa powder
•1 pinch of salt
•1 teaspoon of instant coffee
•¾ cup white sugar

Directions:

1.    In a food processor, pulse the beans, eggs, oil, vanilla and cocoa powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2.    Add the salt, coffee and white sugar and mix well.
3.    Place in a non-stick 8x8 baking dish and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.